Handmade Flour Tortillas
Yield: Makes 12 to 17
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the oil and water, stirring to bring the mixture together to a soft dough (it will be sticky). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes (you can do this step in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 2 minutes).
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 to 20 minutes. (You can actually make the dough the day before and refrigerate. Then proceed as follows.)
Divide the dough in to golf-ball-sized rounds, rolling them around to create a smooth surface. Cover again and rest again for 10 minutes. (By working the dough you have activated the gluten, which makes it springy and difficult to roll out. Resting helps relax the dough and makes it a much easier task!)
One at a time, place a ball of dough on a well-floured surface and with a rolling pin, roll it out to form a semblance of a circle. It works best to roll a couple of times in one direction, turn the dough or your rolling pin a quarter turn, roll a couple more times, and continue this until you have a fairly round tortilla, about 6 to 7 inches across, and quite thin, maybe 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch.
Now, this part is very important: there is absolutely no need to attempt perfectly round tortillas. (Unless you’re like that....) The more rustic and avant garde your shapes, the more convinced your fellow diners will be that you have made these from scratch!
As you roll out each tortilla, tap off any excess flour, place it on a clean towel and top with another towel, until you are ready to cook.
Heat a cast iron pan or a classic Mexican tortilla grill over medium-high to high heat. (You want your pan to be nice and hot!) Place a tortilla in the pan (no oil is used for this) and keep a close eye on it. Within seconds it should start to form bubbles. Give it about 20 to 30 seconds (depending on how hot your pan is) and flip it. It should have little brown dots all over. Cook for another 20 seconds and remove. Don’t overcook the tortillas or they will get tough.
Repeat with the rest. You can keep your tortillas warm and serve them immediately (maybe even right out of the pan if you have hungry folks around!) or let them cool, wrap them well and store in the refrigerator for a couple of days or freeze them for up to a month.
Note: Traditionally lard is used in making tortillas. It makes a delicious and tender tortilla. Another option is vegetable shortening. PCC carries an excellent non-trans fat shortening made by Spectrum. If you choose to use either in your tortillas, use 2 to 3 tablespoons and cut it into the dry ingredients until it resembles the texture of cornmeal. Then add the water. Proceed as directed from that point.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: As seen on the “Cheapskate Challenge” on KING 5’s Evening Magazine aired on April 28, 2009
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.